by Mike Conroy
At the October 26 Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors meeting, the Board adopted the 2018 Budget, set the 2018 MVF and Designated User (DU) assessment rates and approved changes to a number of financial policies. Due to cost savings in 2017, the MVF fee will not increase for 2018; the DU fee will increase $1.15/month as expected in the draft budget. The full adopted budget can be found online at www.montgomeryvillage.com.
The Audit Committee forwarded recommendations for changes to the Operating Disbursement, Reserve Disbursement, Assessment Collections and Asset Capitalization policies. All policies include minor language additions for clarification or addition of practices already in place by MVF staff. A “Definitions” section was added to the Reserve Disbursement Policy for consistency with the Operating Disbursement Policy, as well as clarification of the “Reserve Inventory” term. The Collection Policy added information regarding methods of payment and instructions for establishing direct debit payments. Finally, in the Asset Capitalization Policy, depreciation lives were adjusted to be consistent with the US tax depreciation, as well as increasing the capitalization threshold from $1,000 to $5,000.
Other Agenda Items
The Board authorized Executive Vice President (EVP) Dave Humpton to negotiate and execute a contract with Capital Office Solutions for the scanning of homeowner files into MVF’s electronic document management system, Treeno. Previously, a staff member has been dedicated to this project, but the Board noted at the annual retreat that allocating reserve funds to complete the project in a timelier manner was desirable. The contract is in the amount of $60,312, with an additional 20% variance for any unforeseen expenses.
The EVP was also authorized to negotiate and execute a contract with Commercial Recreation/Little Tikes for the Apple Ridge Recreation Area inclusive playground. After previewing designs and gathering resident input, the Recreation Committee forwarded a recommendation to the Board to award the bid to Commercial Recreation. The chosen design incorporates all the elements the committee sought, as well as adjusted after the initial concepts. The contract is for $143,996.02, with an additional 10% variance for any unforeseen expenses. The project will be funded by the Capital Contribution Fee.
Finally, the Board reaffirmed an earlier e-mail vote for execution of a Purchase Option Agreement for conservation easement rights with Ecotone, Inc. for two separate stream channel restoration projects. These projects, if accepted by Montgomery County, would be of no cost to MVF, and in fact bring additional unexpected revenue. The Committee on the Environment and adjacent homes corporations were supportive of the potential projects.
Board President Pete Young commented that although he was not able to attend this year’s Great Pumpkin Race, he was informed that is was a spectacular event. Young thanked staff and residents for their preparation and participation, and noted he would be ready to compete again next year!
EVP Humpton shared a plaque given to MVF in recognition for their support of the Food for Schools program. He noted the program’s success in helping those in our community who often don’t have enough food for their families. Humpton also mentioned the upcoming development of a recreation strategic plan which will incorporate Board, committee, staff and resident input, and be a major driver for future budget cycles.
Humpton discussed several legislative matters and recent passed county legislation that affects Montgomery Village. He said that Young had recently testified before the county council supporting a resolution that directed Planning Board staff not to consider M-83 capacity in any future development applications in the upcounty. Since there is no funding in the county CIP for M-83, and many councilmembers are against it, this makes sense; MVF’s Transportation Priorities are in line with this sentiment.
There was also an update on the county’s short-term rental bill. MVF sent many comments and concerns to the council regarding this bill, and the end result was language that reflected many of the HOA concerns, but made the rental model available to county residents. Finally, regarding small cell tower legislation, Humpton said that while the bill allowed for small cell towers to be placed on public streets, installation on HOA private streets would require both an HOA and utility easement, thus giving the HOAs better control over potential installations.
MVF Treasurer Bob Carey noted some financial highlights for the month of September and the year-to-date (YTD), saying that MVF remains in a strong financial position. He said that Revenue and Expenses continue to be favorable to the budget, mainly due to the continued success of investments, pool membership, camps and classes up; Village News advertising revenue remains unfavorable to the budget.
Carey also noted that Personnel and Operating costs were favorable to the budget for both the month and YTD. MVF continues to have a good hold on Cash and Investments, contributing to a solid financial position. Carey was proud to report that the Delinquency Rate has dropped to 6.7%, the lowest it has been since March 2007.
Due to Thanksgiving, the next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. The meeting begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. with Residents Time. Residents are invited and encouraged to attend. The meeting agenda and information packet will be available online at www.montgomeryvillage.com the week of the meeting.